When did your second life start?by @jasonleow | 342 words | 312🔥 | 350💌
Current day streak: 312🔥
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“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” - Confucius via @naval.
I had been listening to this awesome podcast by Joe Rogan. His guest this time was Naval Ravikant. As usual, Naval shares his trademark wisdom, and this line from Confucius really made an impression.
It got me thinking. Had my second life started? Or am I still in the first?
Realizing that we have only one life sounds almost trite. Everyone knows that, intellectually. But how deeply do we live it? Is it like "Oh yeah yeah, I know that", or does that realization punch you in the gut hard enough, that you live that wisdom everyday like your hair was on fire? Thinking back, it felt like there were a few milestones in life where it felt like the latter, where I was forced to confront my mortality soberly. Most recent one was just last year, and it was due to my health. A darker, more painful punch in the gut. Another one, was around 10 years ago when I stayed in a monastery, but that time it was lighter, more joyful kind of realization, the kind that you felt moved to tears, to act.
So maybe it's not something where you go have a deep experience that kickstarts the second life and you're done. Often, the lessons didn't go deep enough the first time. It starts to fade over time, lose its power, and we start back-sliding. Many years later, the same lesson revisits in a slightly different form, and it punches you in the gut again. The graph goes high, slowly back down into a valley, and back up again. Or like a pendulum, from swinging wildly between two ends to slowly returning to a still and calm centre.
My hope is that, as I age, the swings get less extreme. I hope that, with the recent low means I'm climbing back up again.
Towards that second life.